« PreviousContinue »
them how pernitious it is to intrust either prince or priest with any power capable of abuse ; yet, to the honour of this princesse, it may justly be said, that she never made use of her own liberty to inslave the nation, but repaid, or rather exceeded in thanks and acknowledgments all power they gave her; an art lost in these latter times, or thought unkingly. But I leave this her wisdome to be justified by the happy successe...
4. After the queene had in parliament cleansed her birth from all the spots the poyson of tongues had aspersed her with, and received for the future from the houses, in the name of the three estates, a promise of assistance, together with an oath of obedience, by which she might rest secure from within, her next indeavour was to line and fortify her out-works: In the prosecution of which, she was forced, through reason of state, upon a deeper ingratitude then I beo lieve any thing but an impulsive necessity could have cast her into ; for, after a firme settlement, she became the severest scourge
to Spaine that it ever had since emancipated from the Moors. The occasion of which some lay at the haughty and proud gate of the Spaniard, who grew implacable after he found he was deluded of his hope" to marry her; others to à nature residing in all princes, not to acknowledge any friends or kindred but what are allied to a capacity of doing them some future good, which Philip the Second was not likely to do upon any remoter occasion then the possession of her person, his ends being intent upon an absolute monarchy, which obliged not only England, but all the princes in Europe, to oppose him. Nor could any favour received in the relation of a private person bind her more to requitall, then greater injuries did to revenge. Therefore, since she forgave the latter, when she had power to have taken it without danger, she seems more excusable in omitting the first, which could not have beene done without losse, and exposing her subjects to a visible inconvenience, if not a totall ruine.
Yet this is manifest in the histories on both sides, that the queene did, by way of mediation, long indeavour for a milder governing of his Dutch subjects (of whose oppression both heaven and earth are witnesses) before a sword was drawne in their defence. And for the treasure taken at sea," and at first owned but as borrowed, it was. not more then the faith of England might have been a sufficient security for, without being made the subject of a warre. Nor did the catholike king remaine long in a condition able to distresse the affayres of England, his power being diverted through a malecontented party that stood up for re
"Queen Elizabeth certainly reserved to herself the choice of owning or disavowing the exploits of Drake, and the other dauntless adventurers, whose maxim it was, that wherever treaties might exist between Spain and England, they applied only to the old world; or, as they expressed it, “ There was no peace beyond the line.” Had the queen found it convenient to accommodate matters with Philip, they would have been held buccaneers and pirates, instead of English admirals; but she would never, like James, have sacrificed the life of a gallant subject to the jealousy of a foreign power,
ligion in the Netherlands, at first fomented by France, and after more cordially assisted by our queene; who delighted more, from her first assumption to power, in raising broyles, and making her selfe an arbitrator of others differences, then in any quarrell contracted of her owne: by which
she did not only keep her selfe in plight at · home, by sparing mony (harder parted with by the English then bloud) but gained so much reputation abroad, as no publique or private indeavours of his holinesse could stop other nations (already scandalized at his base and unworthy jugling in the councill) from confirming or making new or straighter leagues with England then formerly they had done : looking upon her defection as a president they might one day be forced to follow, in case the court of Rone continued still her contumacy to- wards princes: And, therefore, likelier to meet her with comfort and assistance, then any force to oppose her. From whence his holinesse was necessitated, in vindication
of his honour, to employ the jesuits, his owne emissaries, by artifice, poyson, or the knife, to bring about that his sword was not able to execute; so as the peace of her kingdome was at first more interrupted through privy conspiracies then open force: which, according to the guise of all unsuccessefull treasons, turned to the disadvantage of themselves and their party, the poore catholickes ; against whom nothing in relation to the generality remaines upon due proofe sufficient to justify the severity of the lawes daily enacted and put in execu. tion against them ; wherewith they were ground in pieces between the popes obsti: nacy, and a jealousy these practises bred in their naturall prince; by whom they were without question prosecuted rather out of feare then malice: which his holinesse at length perceiving, did offer what he denied, which was to confirme her title, and ratify the use of the Common Prayer, with the most of what the parliament had confirmed upon her, provided she would re